Italy: why is the island of Poveglia so famous but rarely visited?

by Destination(s) Europe

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There is an island off the coast of Venice on which you will probably never spend your holidays. Poveglia has a very bad reputation and for good reason: for centuries, people have believed it is haunted! Alright, we see you laughing. But whether you are superstitious or not, this sulphurous reputation has a real impact on the activity of the island. So much so that it is impossible to visit the island of Poveglia today.

InspirationIf you are looking for ideas for a getaway in Italy, all our articles are here.

Is Poveglia Island haunted?

Since ancient Rome, Poveglia has seen tens of thousands of people die, especially during the Great Black Death in the 16th century. Tales of apparitions, ghosts, cries heard in the night have flourished there. Then, in 1922, as if to add to the curse, a psychiatric hospital was built there. Yes, you are already thinking of Shutter Island. By the way, if you want to scare yourself, here are 12 spooky places to visit in Europe.

The reality was probably much less frightening. None of these legends are based on any credible sources and remain legends today. On the other hand, it is proven that the island housed a rest home from the 19th century until the Second World War.

Still, the 7-hectare island has been abandoned since 1968. In 2014, the Italian State decided it wanted to part with it. The inhabitants of Venice clubbed together to buy it back, but the sale passed them by. The highest bid, proposed by a wealthy businessman, was deemed insufficient. From then on, the island, still for sale, has become a playground for ghost hunters of all kinds, who enter it illegally. But it is still impossible, at present, to (officially) visit the island of Poveglia.

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